Dynamic Music at a Biodynamic Farm

Small Time Napoleon least badIt was an evening of original music, hay bale jumping, dancing and good food at Foxhollow Farm when Nellie Pearl and Small Time Napoleon took the flatbed stage for the sunset concert series in Crestwood, Ky.

After making their way down country roads to get to the farm, which is 15 minutes outside Louisville, concert-goers assembled on the farm’s meadow and took their seats on lawn chairs and blankets. The concert was set in the middle of the 1,300-acre biodynamic farm where the owners practice a style of organic farming that considers the ecosystem of the land in its entirety. All parts of the farm – livestock, trees, plants, bugs and wildlife – are interconnected and contribute to one another. In place of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the Foxhollow farmers use compost and companion planting. They use sprays derived from medicinal plants, quartz and aged manure.

Children dancingNellie Pearl band members were fresh from The Church, a recording studio in Plymouth, Michigan, where they had been cutting their new album, “Lonesome No More,” named after a slogan in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Slapstick.” The group’s first album, “So It Goes,” also took its name from Vonnegut – this one from “Slaughterhouse-Five” – explained Jonathon Mitchell, who sings and plays guitar in the band.

Most of the songs they played were from their new album. Their buttoned-down rock sound – with a violinist and a lead vocalist who sounds much like Billie Holiday – defies categorization. Their new album will be available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify in March 2016.

Similarly, the music of Small Time Napoleon fused the genres of jazz, Texas swing, and Americana. The four-man band, which includes a stand-up bass, drum kit, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, played several original songs from their new album, including “Boring Little Play,” “Sucker for a Tomboy” and “Packed.”

Women wore sun dresses and cowboy boots or hippie dresses and sandals, and men wore polo shirts and shorts. The area in front of the stage turned into an informal mosh pit for children who were dancing with each other and their parents. Those children, more interested in gymnastics than in music, enjoyed jumping off a set of nearby hay bales.

Foxhollow Farm does not allow outside food or drink during the concerts, but there was no need to go hungry as food and beverage trucks were serving a range of beverages from bourbon to watermelon lemonade and a selection of food from summer salads to black bean burgers and meatloaf. Vendors sold special dishes that made use of Foxhollow Farm’s grass fed beef, pork, lamb and vegetables.

The last concert of the Foxhollow Farm Sunset Concert Series will be September 11. The mission of the concert series is to help the larger metropolitan community connect with agriculture. Currently, the farm is not releasing the name of the bands that will be playing in September. The last concert will be a summer send-off party. VT

For more information, visit foxhollow.com/sunset-concert-series.